1. Easy Chopped Chicken Salad

    This quick and simple salad is a delicious solution to the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” It’s filled with wholesome ingredients, protein and fiber to enhance your hard earned fitness results. Servings: 6

    Here’s what you need…

    For the salad:- 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
    – ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
    – 1 Tablespoon red onion, minced
    – ½ cup cucumber, chopped
    – 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
    – 4 strips, cooked nitrate-free bacon, chopped
    – 1 avocado, chopped

    For the dressing:- ⅛ cup olive oil
    – 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    – 1 packet stevia
    – 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
    – 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Mix to combine.
    2. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

    Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 218 calories, 12g fat, 189mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 22g protein

  2. 7 Fat Loss Myths Debunked

    Everywhere you turn there’s another headline about how to lose weight and shave off fat. Many of these eye-catching headlines are myths, plain and simple. And if you’re not careful, they can suck you in and spit you out, without helping you lose any weight at all.

    What myths are out there waiting to trick you? Here are seven that you’re most likely to come up against.
    Fat Loss Myth #1: You Need to Work Out Every Day

    A little bit of working out will help you lose a little bit of weight, so a lot will help a lot…right? Possibly. If your “little bit” of working out involves taking a walk from your living room to your mailbox, ramping up to a jog around the neighborhood, then everyday is a good thing. However, if you’re pushing it hard at the gym 5 days a week, adding another two days isn’t a great idea. Not only do you increase your chance for overuse injury, but you don’t give your body time to recover. If your body can’t recover, you can’t get your peak performance every day, making it harder to burn fat.

    Fat Loss Myth #2: No Coffee!

    For many people, having to drop coffee is unbearable. Fortunately, if you’re a coffee lover and you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to give up your hot caffeinated goodness altogether. What you will need to do is cut the sugar and creamer. Once you get used to the taste of black coffee, you may find that drinking a cup half an hour before your workout will actually propel you to your best sessions ever.

    Fat Loss Myth #3: Slow Is Better

    Slow-moving folks rejoiced at the idea that a slower pace could mean more fat burned. And while moving slower—walking instead of running—may seem more appealing, there is a problem. Because moving at a faster pace and pushing yourself harder will always burn more calories in less time. Of course, if you plan to walk at a moderate pace for three hours, you will burn more than if you sprint 100 yards and call it quits. But if you can sprint 100 yards, walk 20 yards, and then sprint again, repeating the process for an hour, you will easily shed more calories, fat, and pounds, than just going for a walk.

    Fat Loss Myth #4: Cardio Is All You Need

    Want to lose weight? Good. You’ll need to get some cardiovascular exercise. But don’t buy into the idea that cardio is all you need to lose weight. If you don’t lift weights or do some sort of strength training, your aerobic workouts will eventually work to burn off your muscle as well as fat. In the end, this means less strength and a lower metabolism—both which could lead to an inability to maintain a workout routine.

    Fat Loss Myth #5: Your Workout Should Be Killer

    Ever feel your workout didn’t work you hard enough? If you’re improving and increasing, don’t sweat it. That’s just a sign that your body is growing stronger and better able to handle whatever you throw at it. While many think a workout isn’t good unless it leaves you unable to stand up straight or lift a book, don’t believe the hype. Pushing your body so hard that you can’t function after a workout may give you mental assurance that you’re working hard, but it’s putting you at extreme risk for extreme injury.

    Fat Loss Myth #6: Heat Burns More Slide this one under the heading “Stranger Than Fiction,” but according to research, those hot yoga classes may not be paying off like you expect. Strangely, they found that people who slept in a colder environment increased their weight loss ability substantially more than those who slept in a warmer temperature. Granted, the study involved sleeping and not exercising, but the chill should transfer to your workouts. Get the temp turned down a notch for a month or two and see if there are any changes!

    Fat Loss Myth #7: There Are Negative-Calorie Foods

    Whether you’ve bought into the myth or not, you’ve likely heard that certain foods—celery is a favorite—burn more calories via digestion than they contain. So if you eat nothing but celery, you’ll burn more calories than you consume, which catapults your weight-loss ability into the heavens. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Celery is low in calories, but you could survive on it if there was no other food available.

    Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body and shed that fat once and for all!

  3. Why You’re Gaining Weight (and how to stop it)

    Capture-3.JPGTired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?

    That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.

    According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”

    Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…

    Life’s Fat Traps: We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

    Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?

    Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

    College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.

    Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?

    Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.

    Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

    New Habits: Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

    Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.

    Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

    Your Transformation: You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

    It’s time to make a change.

    Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps.

    Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. Let’s do this!

  4. Clean Burrito

    Here’s a healthy burrito recipe to sink your teeth into. Whole grains, lean protein and crunchy veggies make this a recipe that you’ll come back to time and again. Serve with a side of your favorite salsa. Servings: 1

    Here’s what you need…

    – 1 sprouted grain, flourless tortilla
    – 1 Tablespoon hummus
    – 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
    – ¼ cup cooked black beans
    – ½ cup cooked chicken, chopped
    – 2 Tablespoons fresh corn kernels
    – 2 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
    – ¼ cup shredded arugula
    – 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped

    1. Warm the tortilla in a dry skillet. Spread the hummus evenly over the tortilla.
    2. Top the tortilla with rice, beans, chicken and veggies.
    3. Fold the two sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then flip up the bottom edge and roll tightly.

    Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 380 calories, 7.8g fat, 45g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 31g protein.

  5. A Client Success Story

    Video-Snapshot.PNGFitness Professional, Juan Guerrero trains a successful client Mary Joe Cranny. Trainer and client together have had to overcome many obstacles to achieve her new Personal Best.

    Let her story, as told by her trainer, motivate you to overcome any obstacles that may be keeping you from being physically active and achieving YOUR Personal Best!

    Her Story…
    “Mary Joe has been training here for almost a year and has shown a dedication and great work ethic since day one. She came in with the goals of getting stronger legs and wanted improved core strength as well. Some of the obstacles that she has had to overcome include:

    • Cerebral Palsy since birth
    • Severe limitations on her left side of her body
    • Multiple surgeries on joints throughout her body
    • Finding someone to bring her to the gym

    At birth Mary Joe didn’t receive enough oxygen and her legs and left side of her body were affected by this. She deals with range of motion issues and sometimes struggles in her day to day living.

    Training Challenges
    When she first walked in through those doors I knew I was up for a challenge but so was she. Just getting her to warm up on the stationary bike was tough, let alone getting her in and out of it. She could only take small strides and barely lift her feet off the ground.

    Functional Training WORKS!
    Today, you can really tell the improvement she has made since first entering the studio. She can get in the bike by herself now, her foot strides are much higher and longer, and she even has improved core strength!

    One of the biggest improvements she has noticed personally, is walking up and down the stairs. This has become much easier and she can also get in and out of a vehicle with much less trouble. Some other improvements she has also noticed are:

    • Improved balance
    • Improved strength
    • Improved stamina

    Great Attitude = Great Results!
    Mary Joe trains 3 times a week for 30 min and is one of the most consistent clients we have. She always arrives with enough time to get on the bike and warm up just prior to her training sessions. There are days when her body aches or might be more stiff than usual but she always comes in and with a great attitude towards exercising.

    Cold, rain, humid, or a hot summer day Mary Joe always manages to make it in through those doors and brighten up the studio.” ~Juan

    Do YOU have obstacles that are keeping you from becoming physically active?

    Call or email me today to get started on a fitness program that I believe will make you immune to all of life’s reason’s that are keeping you from becoming YOUR PERSONAL BEST!

    Once you start working with me, the obstacles will quickly become part of your BEFORE story. Let’s do this!

  6. No Time to Workout?

    working-696390_640.jpgThe number one reason why you don’t exercise is that you don’t have time.

    At least that’s what you tell yourself.

    I know we are all busy. Between getting to and from work, balancing responsibilities and having time for yourself, there’s little left over for workouts.

    With summer in full swing your busy schedule is sure to get even busier. There will be vacations, cookouts and family gatherings. It’s no wonder that exercise quickly takes a backseat to summer activities.

    You don’t have to succumb to weight gain this summer. Escape the time crunch excuse in three easy steps:

    Step One: Schedule Your Workouts: You’ve heard this before, and it makes so much sense. If you treat your exercise time with the importance of a work meeting then you’d never skip a workout and you’d be in amazing shape.

    While the scheduling concept is brilliant in its simplicity, you have to put it into practice to reap the benefits. Pull out your calendar and a pen. Don’t laugh, I’m serious! Just do it. If you want to get into shape it starts with committing to a revised schedule with a set exercise time.

    Identify three 40-minute time slots and mark them on your calendar. That is when you’ll exercise.

    Remember this: if the thought that you should exercise this week is floating around in your head, but you haven’t anchored it down to a specific time and date, then it will quickly disappear.

    Step Two: Get the Most from Each Minute: The days of endless, mind numbing cardio are over. A great workout can take place in under an hour, when done correctly. The idea is to burn more calories each minute. This is done through short, intense bursts of exercise.

    Use the following three tips to bring your routine up to the next level:

    1. Be Unstable: Use your entire body, and target your core, by performing exercises that engage stabilizing muscles. To do this use an exercise ball, a balance board, a balance disk, or you could simply stand on one leg.

    2. Add Resistance: The more resistance that you incorporate with your routine translates into higher intensity and more calories burned. Some ideas for adding resistance include: carrying dumbbells while doing lunges, wearing a weighted vest while walking or jogging, or putting a weight between your feet while doing leg raises.

    3. Use Intervals: Interval training is an amazing tool for creating short yet effective workouts. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Interval training is simply alternating between different short bursts of activity.

    Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to focus on your legs and abs and to also get an effective cardiovascular workout. This would be a great interval routine for your goals:

    • Lunge while curling dumbbells, 15-20 repetitions
    • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
    • Squat while pressing dumbbells overhead, 15-20 repetitions
    • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
    • Crunches on an exercise ball, 15-20 repetitions
    • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks
    • Leg raises off the end of an exercise bench, 15-20 repetitions

    Step Three: Twice the Results in Half the Time: What if I told you that I have a proven way to deliver twice the fitness results in half the time? It’s simple really… When you attempt to lose weight or meet a fitness goal on your own, the odds are stacked against you. Sure, you could do it over time – but it’s a long and lonely road. A road lined with detours that threaten to undermine your progress.

    When you start a program with me, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss. You have me in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts and giving you that dose of encouragement went the going gets tough.

    And I’ll be the one congratulating you when your goal is met.

    Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will put exercise firmly on your calendar, and results squarely in your future.

  7. Healthy “Fried” Chicken

    By baking the chicken and using low-carb flours, this recipe has half of the calories and 80% less fat than traditional fried chicken. Serve with a side of vegetables and a salad.

    Servings: 6

    Here’s what you need:

    • 2 eggs
    • 2 Tablespoons fruit-only apricot preserves
    • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • ½ cup almond flour
    • ½ cup almond meal
    • ½ cup coconut flour
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 lbs boneless, skinless organic chicken tenders

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13″x9″ baking pan with coconut oil.
    2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, apricot preserves, mustard, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
    3. In another medium bowl combine the almond flour, almond meal, coconut flour, pepper, thyme, paprika and salt.
    4. Dip each chicken tender in the egg mixture, then dredge through the flour mixture. Place in the prepared pan.
    5. Bake for 35 minutes. Change oven to high broil for 2 minutes, flip each chicken tender and broil the other side for 2 minutes.
    6. Serve with a side of sugar-free BBQ sauce or organic honey mustard.

    Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 256 calories, 6g fat, 376mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 39g protein.

  8. Tasty Tuna Lettuce Wraps

    Wrapping your dinner in lettuce is an awesome way to burn fat! Trade in your tortillas, buns and sliced bread for a few heads of Romaine lettuce. These tuna wraps are an ultra-healthy meal that is high in protein and low in fat.

    Servings: 2

    Here’s what you need:

    • 1 can albacore chunk tuna, packed in water
    • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped white onion
    • ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
    • ½ yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
    • ½ apple, finely chopped
    • 2 Tablespoons nonfat mayonnaise
    • 1 Tablespoon nonfat ranch salad dressing
    • 1 teaspoon dried dill
    • 4 large lettuce leaves, washed
    • Pepper to taste

    1. Combine the tuna, onion, bell pepper, and apple in a medium bowl. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, ranch dressing and dill.
    2. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the tuna and mix until well combined.
    3. Arrange the lettuce leaves on two plates, and fill with tuna. Garnish with a dash of pepper.

    Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals 124 calories, 1.5g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 2.7g fiber, and 14g protein.

  9. Reasons I like Training Older Adults

    20150627_111534I’ve been training almost 20 years and have worried that I wouldn’t have any clients an older adult trainer. But times are changing; for many reasons training older adults is becoming a “cool,” thing to do. Here are a few of my top reasons as to WHY I like training older adults.

    Makes a HUGE difference!
    The older we get the need for strength and power is critical! As a younger person, we don’t really notice the details of navigating our daily activities. AS we age, maintaining our physical health makes a huge difference in navigating some of the simplest demands of the activity of daily living.

    MUCH Better hours
    I like the hours better in which to train an older adult. They usually prefer mid to late morning and throughout the day but not late into the evening. I’ve been heading to work at 5:30am and getting off between 7:00 – 8:00pm for the better part of 20 years now.

    20150627_111544Less about their LOOKS
    Older adults are not into it for their looks so much anymore. They have more of a general view of fitness. For them it is more about health and function and less about vanity.

    Get to experience living history!
    I loved hearing from a client about their early experiences of skiing the slopes when I was getting ready to ski for my first time ever. He remembers slicing through the snow on skies without metal edges, only the edge of his wood skies. Or Dorothy, from her college cheerleading days, offering us her 80 year old rendition of “Hotty Toddy”, and helping me to understanding the Ole Miss Cheer, its history and significance.

    Feeling Connected
    Spending time with an aging community on a daily basis keeps me connected with the aging process and is a constant reminder about my own choices as I age.

    20150627_111608Rich Networking Opportunities
    Built in to the relationship, many retired consultants as my clients from all professions still love to engage, inspire, motivate and offer the wisdom of their years! They are eager to share their knowledge and utilize their skills to help me as I network with others.

    Appreciation factor
    Older adults simply appreciate the physical improvements they experience. It is not unusual for my clients to experience over 200% improvement in as little as 6 mos.

    Job Security
    I wouldn’t be honest without mentioning this. The 55 group controls three-fourths of America’s wealth. They have 3 times the net worth of younger generations. The 50+ group have 2.5 trillion in annual income and WANT to spend money on their health and fitness!

    I will continue to learn what I can about “Ageless Living”, not only in terms of fitness but in all the other dimensions of wellness. Becoming a Functional Aging Specialist is enhancing my career skills and opportunities.  I can continue to work in my passion for at least 20 more years!

    Lisa G. Wright, CFT
    Your Personal Best Training Studio
    Owner & Functional Aging Specialist

  10. 5 Reasons to Work out with a Friend

    partner 2We know the saying goes less is more, but let’s be honest. Sometimes two is just plain better than one. When it comes to working out, having a friend along for the ride – or lift – can be beneficial.

    Less likely to skip workouts 
    Scheduling your workout session with a friend helps hold you accountable for getting to your sessions. Knowing someone is waiting for you not only motivates you to show up, but to work hard as well.

    Push yourself harder
    Exercising with another person pushes you to do your workout and do it to the best of your ability. Typically – if you work out with a friend who is stronger or faster than you, you’ll be more likely to test your own limits.

    Try new exercises
    It’s less intimidating with a friend to try a new exercise such as strength training or lifting heavier weights. When trying something new, your friend will provide a confidence boost and can also spot you to keep your safe.

    Work out longer 
    Time flies when you’re having fun… or at least when you are distracted. Having someone to talk to between sets lets you focus on something other than the pain of working out and makes the time go by faster.

    Shared recovery
    There’s nothing worse than undoing all your hard work at the gym with unhealthy foods. A friend who’s worked up a sweat with you is likely to want to join you for a healthy post-exercise meal or snack.


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